Launching our Employment Resources for patients

Friday 17 November 2017

The resources have been developed in response to a nationwide gap in information. They will improve the quality of life for those affected

The Employment Resources help people decide whether to talk to their work place about their diagnosis and the effect it has on them; what their employment rights are and if they do chose to share their diagnosis, they provide tools to work through with their employer to help identify how best they can be supported at work.

Michaelagh Broadbent (pictured), from Edinburgh, whose husband Harry is living with a brain tumour, said: “These packs are a great resource following a brain tumour diagnosis so that you know your rights in the workplace and what you're entitled to, and as a starting place for returning to a role once you're fit and ready.

It can be difficult to know where to begin when dealing with some of the practical matters of this major health change, and when it comes to finances you've got to be sure you advocate for yourself in the best way possible - and these help you get started on that road.

“The Employment Adjustments resource is especially useful to know where to begin conversations with your employer and to give ideas on what you should be asking for once you feel you're in a position to return to a role.

“This can mean more flexibility from your workplace to take into account that you might have to take it easy at times which in my opinion is wholly understandable considering the circumstances!"

Harry said: “Being diagnosed with a brain tumour is a very traumatic event, which leaves you feeling very isolated and scared about the impact that it will have on your life and the lives of those around you.

“There are so many things which run through your mind, with work and more importantly money, definitely being one of them. Sitting down and telling your employer about this is very hard, not knowing how they will react, especially when you mention the appointments and time off that may be required.

“Having information available to help start this conversation is going to be so helpful to people. As will knowing that you do have rights and that you cannot be discriminated against because of this diagnosis.

“There can often be many questions employers have after you've told them about your brain tumour, having a place to direct them for more information is such a great resource. It helps you understand the impact that this may have and the adjustment they can make to help you throughout your journey."

Eve Kelleher, our Information and Support Services Manager said: “Recognising that the effects a brain tumour can have on someone's employment and career prospects can be far-reaching and profound, we set about forming resources to assist people through what can be a very difficult time in adjusting to day-to-day life following diagnosis.

“Often people have to give up work entirely or reconsider the type of work they can do and in what capacity.

“This can then lead to the worries of financial difficulties along with having a wider emotional impact as a result of a loss of independence and purpose.

"We have taken the resources through the rigorous Information Standard process and have launched the Employment Resources online this month."

The Charity's Employment Resources are a direct response to the needs and issues of the brain tumour community. The information gathered in the 2015 'Losing Myself: The Reality of Life with a Brain Tumour' found that, of those asked:

3 in 4 people had their/their partner's working life affected

28% have had to give up work entirely

1 in 2 experience financial difficulties

Eve said: “We then went out to our community and asked for participation from those living with a brain tumour diagnosis and their carers in the development of this resource.

“With this compelling information and following telephone interviews with our volunteer participants which brought the numbers to life, we began to scope the landscape in terms of current support around employment matters.

“We identified a particular gap specific to brain tumours, finding that there was nothing else out there that takes into consideration the wide range of effects of living with either a low-grade or high grade brain tumour and the many ways a brain tumour can potentially affect someone's ability to work - from mobility issues, emotional and cognitive challenges and the impact of fatigue amongst others.

“These resources will now form part of the essential support services that are key to our strategy of helping all those affected by this devastating disease."

Find out more here: bit.ly/EmploymentResources